Now that the project is two years old I thought I’d share a few before and after shots of the work. Newton Common is the next reach of river downstream of Emmanuel’s Common. You can see from the before photos that river here had been canalised and deepened and was as a result pretty much overrun with bur-reed.
I made a long-section survey of the river-bed which revealed the places where the bed had been lowered below the natural fall-line of the river. Each of these was effectively a sump. The resultant siltation was the river’s attempt over time to repair itself: we gave the stream a helping hand with as complete an infill of gravel as we could manage within the budget and the time.
A bed-level survey revealed the sump-like reaches where the river had been lowered beneath the fall line of the valley. The Newton Common project is marked by points 1 to 29.
The top image was taken in October 2016: the channel is covered with burr reed. The second image was taken before the project began and shows how deep and wide the dredged channel was. The third image was taken just after the gravel went in, April 2016 and the fourth was taken two years later in April 2019
The top image was taken in October 2016, the middle image during the project and the bottom image in April 2019: note the presence of ranunculus and berula!